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This website was archived in May 2018 and is no longer being updated – it remains in its original format for informational purposes only. For questions pertaining to this archived content, please contact the USAID Office for Global Climate Change - [email protected]

A low emission development strategy (LEDS) is a process. To describe the work of the EC-LEDS program, this process has been simplified into two key areas for LEDS development and implementation: planning and actions.

Low Emission Planning

EC-LEDS partner countries are at different stages of LEDS development; some have already outlined their low emission development goals and priorities in various national-level plans and strategies, and others are working to define their low emission growth pathways. The EC-LEDS program provides technical assistance to enhance and strengthen these existing frameworks, plans, and processes. The program's low emission planning assistance focuses on:

  • Supporting institutions
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories
  • Data and analysis.

Supporting Institutions

An effective organizational framework provides the foundation for developing and implementing a LEDS. The EC-LEDS program works to strengthen in-country human and institutional capacity for LEDS development, refinement, and implementation in partner countries. For example, the program helps support climate change planning that engages key stakeholders from government ministries and civil society in the LEDS planning process. It also facilitates creation of institutional structures, including high-level climate change commissions and inter-ministerial groups, to coordinate LEDS efforts within partner governments.

Greenhouse Gas Inventories

A robust GHG inventory is critical for establishing a baseline for tracking emission trends, developing mitigation strategies and policies, and assessing progress. It is also a key component of a country's periodic National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The EC-LEDS program helps partner countries develop robust national GHG inventories by:

  • Establishing institutional arrangements around regular and coordinated GHG reporting

  • Building in-country capacity on tools and techniques to estimate GHG emissions

  • Establishing data collection and management systems that enable production of a transparent, accurate, consistent, complete, and comparable inventory.

Data and Analysis

For designing and implementing effective national climate change policies and LEDS, it's critical for a country to understand the potential economy-wide opportunities and impacts of climate change mitigation actions. Analysis of potential opportunities guides selection of a portfolio of low emission technologies and practices to be deployed over time, enabling a country to meet its development and climate goals at least cost.

The EC-LEDS program provides technical assistance to support generation of quality data and the use of rigorous analytical tools and models. These tools and models help investigate and compare the economic and GHG impacts of climate change mitigation policies across multiple sectors of the economy.

Low Emission Actions

A robust and actionable LEDS lays out a country's low emission goals and priorities. But implementing a LEDS—to realize measurable economic growth and GHG emission reductions—requires effective policies, robust monitoring and reporting systems, and strong financial support. To support the U.S. Global Climate Change Initiative, the EC-LEDS program focuses on implementing low emission action in two critical areas:

  • Clean energy
  • Sustainable landscapes.

Clean Energy

The key components of many country's LEDS include increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency. In the energy sector, the EC-LEDS program focuses on:

  • Assessing national renewable energy generation capabilities, energy efficiency opportunities, and increasing energy access
  • Implementing energy efficiency programs
  • Promoting private financial investment in clean energy.

Sustainable Landscapes

Key actions of many partner country LEDS include sustainable land-use practices in the agriculture and forestry sectors. Within these sectors, EC-LEDS program activities support demonstration of low emission practices that also increase community resilience to climate change through improved planning and livelihoods diversification.

The EC-LEDS program also helps establish monitoring, reporting, and verification systems to:

  • Assess the emission reduction impacts of sustainable land-use practices
  • Prepare for participation in international carbon markets.